A Harvard University study has found that eating more fruit and vegetables reduces the risk of contracting COVID-19, as well as the severity of COVID symptoms. The World Health Organization (WHO) is meanwhile recommending that people consume fruits and vegetables on a daily basis.
Dr Saipin Chotivichien, director of the Bureau of Nutrition at the Department of Health (DOH), discussed the Harvard findings. She elaborated that the study found a 9% lower risk of contracting COVID among people who consumed high amounts of fruits, vegetables and legumes. These people also had a 41% lower risk of developing severe COVID symptoms compared to those who ate less produce. Those who based their diets on fruits and vegetables and completely abstained from meat and processed food meanwhile had a 73% lower risk of contracting COVID.
Dr Saipin said the WHO recommends a varied diet consisting of fruits and vegetables. She said these should be part of every meal and also recommended reducing sodium intake by capping it at 1 teaspoon per day. Sugar and sweet food and drinks should also be limited.
The Bureau of Nutrition chief listed a number of food items that are beneficial to the lungs, including ginger, bell pepper, apple, pumpkin, turmeric, tomato, cereals, olive oil, oysters and berries. The DOH is making available a mobile app called Food Choice to help people make food purchasing decisions.